Fall on : August-September
Significance : Brothers protect their sisters from evil
Religion : Hindu
Also Known as : Rakhi, Avani Avittam, Upakarmam

A Sister tieing Rakhi on her brothers hand

Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) is called Avani Avittam in South India. This falls on the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September). It is an important Hindu festival. Hindus wear a new holy thread and offer libations of water to the ancient Rishis on this day.

Recitation of the Vedas on this great day is highly beneficial. Raksha Bandhan festival is also known as Upakarmam, and is specially sacred to the Brahmins who have been invested with the sacred thread. When the Brahmin boy is invested with this holy thread, Symbolically his third eye or the eye of wisdom is opened. This festival of Raksha Bandhan reminds the wearer of the sacred thread of its glorious spiritual significance. Brahmins also offer libations with water to their ancestors to whom they owe their birth and to the Rishis to whom they are indebted for their spiritual knowledge and the Vedas themselves. The true Hindu never forgets his benefactors!

The followers of the four different Vedas have their Upakarmam on different days.

On this day, Sachi the consort of Indra, tied a holy thread or amulet around the wrist of Indra when he was defeated by the demons. Then Indra, the king of gods, gained a victory over the demons, by the Power of this protection (Raksha means "protection ") and recovered the lost city of Amaravati.

In North India, on this day, an amlet known as a Rakshi or Rakhi is tied round the wrist of brothers by the sisters as a protection from evil during the ensuing year. Brahmins and Purohits similarly tie amulets round the wrists of their patrons and receive gifts. A Mantra is recited when the Rakhi or the silken thread is tied. The silken thread is charged with the power of the Mantra which is as follows:

Yena baddho balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah;
Tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshey maa cchala maa chala.

The power of this Mantra protects the wearer from evil influences.

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